In an aggressive bid to go digital, Kotak Mahindra Bank today launched its online social account integrated with Facebook and Twitter.

Targeted at the tech-savvy and young population, the Kotak Jifi account is a zero minimum balance current account with an initial payment of Rs 5,000, offering zero rate of interest, the bank told presspersons at a press conference.

The mid-sized private sector lender has tied up with online retailers such as eBay, Make my trip, and Jabong, which have seen traction with an increasing number of consumers purchasing on the Internet.

“About 98 per cent of our transactions take place outside the branch, with about 50 per cent in ATMs. The rest are on the Internet and mobile,” said KVS Manian, President, Consumer Banking at the bank.

“Customer behaviour has shifted towards digital banking... With the growing trend of usage of social networking Web sites, we integrated it with social banking,” said Deepak Sharma, Head of Digital Initiatives at Kotak Bank.

Balances of over Rs 25,000 in the 'Jifi account' will be automatically moved into fixed deposits.

Account holders can earn transaction and social points on referring friends and online transactions. “The points are transferable to another account by using as a gift,” Manian said.

Jifi customers will have access to all conventional bank offerings pan-India including branch and ATM network, a Platinum debit card, Internet and phone banking access.

Without manual intervention, the bank plans to reach out to customers’ queries relating to account balance, spending and transaction details on the social platforms.

“We expect our online account opening to increase to 15 per cent from the current 6-7 per cent,” Manian added.

At present, apart from the metros, the initiative has been launched in 11 cities including Jaipur, Coimbatore and Pune. The bank plans to launch it in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad going forward.

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